Here is our essential list of what is really needed to pack in a pregnancy hospital bag.
It is actually best to have two bags, one for the birth and one for after for you and the baby.
Choose a bag that is easy to carry, and view what's inside, as it's probably going to be your other half delving around in there, and best to have them emptying everything out over the labour ward floor each time! A holdall type bag is great.
BAG 1 - LABOUR
1. Nightie Choose a loose-fitting, comfortable cotton one. This can be worn throughout labour, and if you get a really cheap one you can just throw it away afterwards - Primark do a great selection! You don't need a special maternity one, just buy one in about 4 dress sizes than your usual.
2. Bikini if you are planning a water birth
3. Slippers Many women end up pacing endlessly down hospital corridors, to induce labour, so take some comfy footwear.
4. Jumper or Dressing Gown A warm jumper, fleece or dressing gown, just in case you get cold with all the waiting - although hospitals are usually baking hot!
5. iPod Load an iPod or other mp3 player with soothing music or better still hypnobirthing music, to help keep you calm and relaxed. You could also load on a couple of read-aloud books, just in case you are waiting around for a long time.
6. Birth plan if you have one.
7. Pregnancy notes Keep them in a clear plastic folder with your birth plan, so they are both easily to hand.
8. TENS machine if you are planning to use one - would recommend hiring one.
9. Loose change For drinks and snacks from the vending machine's.
10. Drinks and snacks Isotonic drinks, slow release carbs eg. flapjacks and energy gel sachets (available from health and cycling shops usually) are all a great idea.
11. Camera Make sure you have a digital camera or your phone with you for the post-birth shots. Also make sure you pack a phone charger if you are talking your phone.
12. Hairband to tie up loose annoying tresses.
13. Glasses if you wear them
14 Toiletries Toothbrush, toothpaste, shower toiletries, hairbrush, make up (?), contact lenses- remember travel size products
BAG 2 - HOSPITAL STAY & GOING HOME
Many women and babies do have to stay in hospital after the birth, so you will need to pack for that eventuality.
1. Nappies say 10
2. Cotton Wool Pads or Wipes A pack of the large cotton wool pads are the best , they generally like you to clean baby with cotton and wool and water to start with
3. Maternity pads say 10
4. Nightie or pyjamas Loose fitting, lightweight cotton ones are best
5. Underwear Maternity bra's x2, nursing pads and knickers x3 - think big and comfort here ladies!
6. Phone charger
7. Going home outfit Comfortable loose fitting is best
8. Baby Sleepsuits 5x should be sufficient. Make sure that all baby clothes are 100% cotton. Babies find it very difficult to regulate their temperature and using natural breathable fabrics, helps them to do this - all our clothing is 100% cotton ;-)
9. Swaddling blankets 2x large cotton swaddling blankets, can double up as a normal blanket
10. Baby Vests 5x should be enough
11. Baby Outerwear Outer clothing to go home in, snowsuits for winter and lightweight cardigan/jacket for summer.
12 Baby Hat Cotton hat, babies can get very cold, so a small cotton hat is needed.
13. Cellulose blanket A medium sized 100% cotton cellulose blanket is always handy to have for extra layers for baby
To download our printable hospital bag checklist, please click here
You may have noticed above, that we suggested that you might like to load Hypnobirthing music onto your mp3 player. Hypnobirthing is really worth giving a try, it really helps to relax into labour, keeping yourself and baby calm. See below for an instructional video on how to practice hypnobirthing -
All the best for your upcoming birth's ladies and gents x